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“Turbulence”: a new short story by David Szalay

When Ursula discovers her daughter Miri is engaged to a Syrian man living in Budapest, she is torn between generosity and fear. Miri, returning to London to visit her sick father, would rather be with her fiancé than in a city she no longer recognises



“My gardener,” Ursula said. “You remember my -gardener—Shamgar?”

“Yes,” Miri said. “Sort of.”

“I think he might be gay.”

“Yeah? Why?”

Ursula laughed. “I think he might be having some sort of affair with the man who works next door.”

“Good for him,” Miri said. She didn’t seem very interested—her mind seemed elsewhere. Still, Ursula went on with it. “Once I saw the man from next door coming out of Shamgar’s room very early in the morning. I hadn’t been able to…

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